Dodman & Co 0-4-2 Well Tank
(Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Railway No. 1)
This interesting and unique locomotive was built in 1893 by Alfred Dodman & Co of Kings Lynn to the order of Norfolk businessman William Burkett. Gazelle was originally a 2-2-2WT and in that form was used by its private owner for quite lengthy excursions on the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway as well as on the Great Eastern Railway.
The locomotive was purchased by Colonel Stephens in February 1911 via T.W. Ward for use as an inspection unit on the soon to be reopened Shropshire & Montgomeryshire Railway, where it became S&MR No. 1. It was rebuilt, probably locally, as a 0-4-2WT and used in company with an ex-LCC horse tram, to provide a passenger service on the the lightly populated Criggion branch . Locomotive and tram were withdrawn in the late 1920s or early 1930s but returned to inspection duties in 1937 when Gazelle assuming her present appearance although then painted olive green.
The S&MR was taken over by Army 1941 and Gazelle was used again as an inspection unit until her second withdrawal in about 1943 when the army kept her as a showpiece. With nationalisation of the railways the ownership of Gazelle was nominally transferred to British Railways Western Region but in May 1950, she was placed on loan to the War Department and moved to the Longmoor Military Railway in Hampshire for display on a plinth. In 1970 the locomotive was placed in the care of the National Railway Museum and, after a short period at York, was loaned to Museum of Army Transport at Beverley. When this closed in 1997, the locomotive was placed on loan with the Colonel Stephens Museum at Tenterden where it was given the nominal honour of No. 1 in the K&ESR fleet. What is thought to be the world's smallest standard gauge locomotive is unlikely to ever run again. It is underwent cosmetic restoration for a short planned trip to the National Railway Museum at York for Railfest 2012 but returned to the Colonel Stephens Railway Museum were it remains on display.
Weight 5 tons 10 cwt
Cylinders (2) 4 in. dia x 9 in. stroke
Wheels 2 feet 3 ins. diameter.